Evening peeps. I have been checking out a few photography forums catching up with news and views. One thing I always like to look at is the critique sections to see what images people are taking. I am in awe at the vast scope and quality of some of these issues. I always try to look at what the photographer was trying to achieve and why they felt they had to capture that particular shot or moment. It got me to thinking about my motivation for taking images and why I do it.
I started properly aged around 13 or 14. I used to travel around a lot on the trains and basically took photos of the trains because they always seemed so awe inspiring. Looking back, most of these were fairly basic ‘record’ shots. I had no concept of composition or using different elements to make an image with impact.
Slowly over the years I expanded my range of subjects and started taking photos of more and more varied subjects. I started looking at different tricks such as macro and low-light photography after reading a few old photo mags left around in the mess room where I worked.
This piqued my interest and I started to take an interest in the technical aspects of photography. At this point I started taking photos of pretty much anything as I started to try out the technical aspects of each style. As time went by I realised there was so much more involved in image making than pre-selecting certain settings for x, y or z effect. For me it became more about a sense of feeling or perception. There was certainly more of an emotional pull to a scene and i wanted to convey that to people looking at my images. Now, that is not easily achieved and I will write about that in an upcoming post.
As with everything, there is no right or wrong, better or worse philosophy – it all comes down to the individual. I had totally moved away from ‘record shots’ until it recently dawned on me when walking through my small towns high street. There was so much change going on that I felt that it was necessary to record this change. Established shops were closing down. All around old buildings and historic factories were being torn down and replaced with houses. I look at this as documenting the present for the future. I love looking at all the old photos of places from bygone days. Is anyone doing the same today for later generations? At least I hope I am mixing some well learnt lessons to my new ‘record shots’. On my website you will see images that contain elements of everything I have talked about.
What is your motivation for taking images? Do you love the technical aspects of imagery? Are you an arty type that has a creative flair? Do you like to get your audience to connect to the emotional impact of your images or do you simply like to take a great photo and have everyone tell you how good you are? Are you driven to record daily life or do you simply do it for nothing more than the fact you enjoy it as a hobby?